Black Headed Python

Black-headed Python

Aspidites melanocephalus

DID YOU KNOW?

This snake uses its black head to thermo-regulate.

Exhibit Name and Location:
Baltimore - Animal Planet Australia: Wild Extremes

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Black-Headed Python

One of Australia’s more beautiful pythons, this aptly named snake has a glossy, jet-black head and neck, and 70–100 dark bands across the rest of its body, which can be cream to red-brown in color.

Black-headed pythons are usually not aggressive and often move away from disturbances, retreating to burrows or hiding when threatened.

They tend to live in woodlands, open forests, and grasslands. They are nocturnal during warm months, but may be more active during the day in cooler weather.

Females lay an average of five to 10 eggs under logs or roots or in a burrow. Females coil around their eggs to protect them and keep the temperature constant during incubation.

Eggs can take up to three months to hatch, and offspring take four to five years to reach sexual maturity.

Other common names for the black-headed python are tar-pot and black-headed rock snake.

Diet

These pythons prey almost exclusively on reptiles, including venomous snakes. They appear to be immune to the venom of Australia’s most toxic species. They will also occasionally eat birds and small mammals. Prey is constricted and then swallowed whole.

Size

Black-headed pythons can reach a length of more than 6 feet.

Range

These terrestrial snakes are found in the northern part of Australia. They are locally common in northern Australia, from central Queensland to the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

Population Status

This species is not threatened.

Predators

The northern quoll and birds of prey feed on this python, and they also will eat each other.

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A Note From the Caretaker

The Aquarium’s black-headed python is fed one rat every other Thursday at 2 p.m. It’s fed on exhibit, so if you’re visiting at the right time, you can see how it constricts its food to swallow it!

John Seyjagat
Curator of Australian Exhibits

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As Curator of the Australian Exhibits, John's daily tasks include managing the exhibit staff and making sure all of our animals are healthy and happy! Learn More